Cockroaches Inspire Rescue Robot

Often more than two inches in length and a carrier of a variety of diseases, the cockroach is one of the most disliked critters to regularly make its way into human homes. This bug can get into almost anything, devouring the food in your pantry and causing allergies to flare up. But in spite of all the trouble that they cause, the very features that make us despise the cockroach are the same ones that have inspired researchers Kaushik Jayaram and Robert J. Full to create a prototype rescue robot in its likeness.

In an article recently released by PNAS, the researchers discuss the discoveries they made when studying the cockroach and its exoskeleton, and how this information has played a vital role in the creation of a soft, legged search-and-rescue robot.

Called the exoskeleton, the outer shell of the cockroach is made up of overlapping places of chitin, a material held together with a flexible membrane. The combined flexibility and durability of the cockroach’s shell allow it to fit into tiny spaces with ease. How tiny? The researchers discovered that a cockroach can fit into a space less than a quarter of its height by collapsing its exoskeleton and spreading out sideways. Incredibly fast and able to get into almost anything, the cockroach is practically built for finding humans in the debris of earthquakes and other natural disasters.

See just how cockroaches and the search-and-rescue robot work in the video below:

While you probably love the idea of the search-and-rescue cockroach, that doesn’t mean you have to accept the presence of real roaches. If you find one in your Western New York home, Amherst Exterminators is here to help! Contact us at 716-908-2475 for all your pest control needs.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs Attacking US Agriculture

A recent article from Texas newspaper Times Record News highlighted three of the most damaging pests to crops, one of which is the brown marmorated stink bug. A bug that was first found in Pennsylvania during the 1990s, the brown marmorated stink bug wreaks havoc on farms across the United States, causing more than $30 million in damage to apple crops alone in 2010.

Not only is the brown marmorated stink bug extremely harmful to crops, but it is also known for spending its winters indoors, both in homes and vehicles. And although this stinkbug won’t do any damage to your house, it can be quite a nuisance, since is lets off a foul odor when bothered or squished.

Where Are They Found?

Found across most of the continental United States, this invasive stinkbug originated in Asia and has been able to spread so rapidly because of a lack of natural predators. Detected in 42 states and two Canadian provinces, these bugs are a big nuisance to farmers and residents across the Northeast. Brown marmorated stink bugs aren’t picky when it comes to snacking, but Stop BMSB has created a crop-by-crop analysis of their favorite foods to feast on.

What Can You Do?

If you are finding brown marmorated stink bugs throughout your home or business, don’t panic. These creatures are completely harmless to you and your home. There are a few ways to get rid of stinkbugs without the stink, including vacuuming them up and trapping them in a metal pan filled with soapy water. We recommend using a Shop-Vac or an old vacuum that you don’t frequently use to prevent the stink from getting into your everyday cleaning companion.

If you need help handling your infestation, Amherst Exterminators is just a phone call away at 716-908-2475. Servicing the Amherst, Williamsville, Kenmore, Tonawanda areas and more, we are happy to assist with all your exterminating needs.


Buffalo Moves Up on List of Most Infested Bed Bug Cities

Orkin recently released their 2016 list of the top 50 cities with bed bugs, and while Chicago topped the list for the fourth year in a row, Buffalo made quite the jump, moving up from number 26 to number 20. A small, brown insect that feeds on human blood, bed bugs are about the size of apple seeds and leave itchy red welts, similar to mosquito bites, on the skin. Not necessarily a sign of uncleanliness, there are a couple different ways that bed bugs can make their way into your home and bed.

Used Clothes and Furniture

Although shopping thrift stores for unique, vintage finds is a popular trend, it is important to take proper care before bringing any type of used clothing or furniture into your home. Common carriers of bed bugs, clothes should be put in the washing machine immediately to prevent potential bed bugs infesting your home. When it comes to furniture it is important to perform a thorough inspection before your purchase, checking for the presence of bugs and stains. If you are still worried even after checking for bugs, you can also reupholster the furniture – preferably outside or in a garage – to keep bed bugs at bay.

Hotel Stays

Before booking your next hotel stay, remember to check the web for complaints of bed bugs. While these critters can appear anywhere, it is better not to take chances. Regardless of where you stay, it is a good idea to check your room for bugs upon arrival, searching the beds and nearby furniture. Instead of hanging luggage in the closet or tossing your bags on floor, set it up on a luggage stand to keep your things out of the way of any potential infestation. If you do see signs of bed bugs, head to the front desk immediately to report your findings.

Take care purchasing used goods, check your room when staying at hotels and watch for signs of bed bugs to keep your home and family bite-free. If you are experiencing a bed bug infestation in the Western New York area, contact Amherst Exterminators at 716-908-2475 to handle the problem immediately.

Enjoy a Pest-Free New Year with These Resolutions

As 2016 draws near, many of us are trying to come up with some great New Year’s resolution we can keep. Whether you plan to make changes to your lifestyle, learn a new hobby or read more this year, there are a few extra resolution ideas that Amherst Exterminators encourages you to consider. While cleaning and repairing your home may not be the most exciting New Year’s activities, they can reduce pest problems, making your home a more enjoyable and stress-free place throughout the upcoming year.

Clean Out the Pantry

There is nothing that pests love more than a dark pantry with crumbs galore. Instead of worrying about ants and other insects as the weather warms up this spring, take preventative measures by putting aside some time to clean your pantry this year. Wipe down the shelves, make sure everything is properly sealed and sweep up the floor to keep bugs at bay.

Move Your Firewood

One of the most common mistakes that families make is stacking firewood next to their house. Carpenter ants, spiders and termites all like to cozy up in the wood pile and end up being carried right into your home when you go to start a fire. Start off the new year right by moving your woodpile across the yard this January to keep your home and garage pest-free.

Seal Up Cracks and Crevices

If you haven’t winterized your home yet, make a New Year’s resolution to do so in the next month. As the weather grows colder, rodents and bugs are more likely to head towards your home for warmth, and even the smallest holes can give them access. Seal up cracks and crevices around the foundation of your home and check to make sure all of your doors and windows seal tightly closed for a warm and pest-free year.

Check Areas Prone To Pests Regularly

After taking the above preventative measures, remember to check for pest activity regularly throughout the year 2016. We recommend taking time to check your attic, basement and outside walls every few weeks for signs of unwanted visitors. Even if you see just a couple of bugs, contact us right away at 716-908-2475. Insects and rodents reproduce quickly and the fastest and easiest way to stop a pest problem is to get to them before things get out of hand.

Prevent Winter Pests from Cozying Up in Your Home

As the snow begins to fall here in Amherst, New York, our thoughts immediately turn to the critters outside and where they will seek shelter. Unlike many species of birds, pests like mice and raccoons don’t travel south for warmth; they head indoors instead! With the holiday season quickly approaching, your family has plenty to do. As you are decorating the outside of your home with lights, take some time to check for signs pests to keep them from disrupting your holiday get-togethers.

 Winter Rodents

Although these critters cause problems year-round, they are especially active during the snowy winter months as they search for a cozy escape from the freezing outdoors. Mice and rats are among the most common winter pests, since their small size makes it so easy for them to make their way indoors. Carriers of a variety of germs and diseases, these pests also have a habit of chewing through electrical wires. Most often found in basements and attics, we recommend sealing up all the cracks and crevices outside your home and checking for droppings regularly.

Another animal that loves to make its den in the comforts of a human home is the raccoon. This critter can not only cause a lot of damage, but can be dangerous to deal with. If you think there is a raccoon in your home, contact Amherst Exterminators right away.

Bugs and Spiders

While a warm, crackling fire is one of the most enjoyable parts of the winter months, the wood you bring into your home may be the residence of a variety of creepy crawly critters. To keep bugs at bay this season, we recommend keeping your wood pile a ways away from the walls of your home. Also remember to add weather stripping to doors and windows to keep the smallest of critters from making their way indoors.

No matter what pests you are facing this winter, Amherst Exterminators to take care of your problem.  Contact us online or by calling 716-908-247 today!

Keep Bugs Out Of Your Christmas Tree

A beautiful way to fill your home with the smell of pine, the real Christmas tree is the preferred choice for many families. As the holiday season draws near and you and your children head out in search of your perfect tree, we at Amherst Exterminators would like to provide you a bit of advice to keep your home free of bugs and pests. Some of the most common insects found on Christmas trees are bark beetles, mites, praying mantis and spiders. None of these pests can cause harm to you or your home, but they can be an annoying nuisance as you are preparing to entertain holiday guests. Follow these words of advice to keep your home and tree bug-free this winter.

Take Preventative Measures

Instead of worrying about pests this season, take some preventative measures to remove them from your tree before bringing it inside. Visit a Christmas tree farm that has a mechanical shaker to dislodge bird nests, debris and stray pests before you head home. This will also get rid of loose needles that are bound to fall onto your floor.

Get Out the Vacuum Cleaner

Although the warm temperatures in your home will kill pests quickly, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove bugs sooner. We recommend steering clear of aerosol insect sprays, because of their flammability.

Regardless of what types of pest you are dealing with this holiday season, contact Amherst Exterminators to take care of the problem quickly and efficiently. Contact us online or by calling 716-908-2475 today!

Cluster Flies Love Taking Up Residence In Your Attic

If you’ve been noticing flies around your property that don’t seem like the average housefly, you may have something a bit different on your hands. One of the biggest nuisances property owners deal with is cluster flies, a specific type of fly that are a bit more aggressive than you may be used to. In fact, these flies tend to gather around windows and try to make their way into structures, sometimes even tearing through screens. We’re here to provide you with a few more facts about these flies that you should be aware of.

Cluster flies have also been called attic flies, and that’s because they tend to make their way into the attic of homes in order to hibernate. Fortunately, they tend to leave people alone for the most part, and they tend to congregate in areas of homes that are usually uninhabited, hence the attic.

Why are these flies called Cluster flies? Well, they tend to gather and form clusters around windows and inside walls. You may notice some stains left on your curtains or walls where these flies have been recently. Unlike some species of flies, Cluster flies can live for several months, so don’t expect an infestation to go away by itself any time soon.

No matter what type of flies you are dealing with in and around your property, you don’t have to deal with the problem all on your own. Contact the professionals at Amherst Exterminators today to find out how we can get rid of cluster flies in no time!

German Cockroaches Could Wreak Havoc On Your Home

There are plenty of pests you would hate to find inside your property, but cockroaches are probably near the top of your list. Many homeowners deal with at least one type of cockroach at some point, and one of the most common species is the German roach. These insects are capable of living in just about any type of environment, and they are commonly found throughout most parts of the world. We’re here to go over some of the most common signs that may indicate you have a German cockroach infestation.


A telltale sign that German cockroaches are in your home is the droppings they leave behind. While they may be hard to spot at first if you aren’t looking, they will soon become apparent if you have a large enough infestation. Their droppings look like small, dark balls that may appear to be pieces of pepper at first glance. You will find these on floors, countertops, and any other areas of the home that cockroaches have frequented.

In addition to their droppings, German cockroaches give off an odor that you will most likely pick up at least a few times. They give off an odor that some people describe as musty, but it is usually fairly mild. If you have many cockroaches in your home within the same vicinity of each other, you will probably be able to smell them to some degree.

The last major sign of a German cockroach infestation is the egg capsules they leave behind. It only takes a day or so for a female cockroach to carry eggs before they hatch, so it won’t be long before you may start noticing broken egg cases around the home.

If you notice any of these signs of a German cockroach infestation don’t hesitate to contact a professional to take care of the problem immediately!

Don’t Let the Name “Silverfish” Fool You

If you’re like most people, you hear the name “Silverfish” and you assume it’s some sort of fish, or perhaps the name of a rock band. Turns out silverfish are ugly bugs that you sometimes see lurking about your house.

With a silvery gray color, silverfish look like a little lobster crossed with a bee and cockroach. They have a carrot-shaped body with lots of antennae sticking out. You might see them in your basement or under your sink since they flock to cold, dark and damp places. They’re fast moving little buggers and they like to come out at night.

While silverfish are relatively harmless (they don’t bite or spread disease) they’re still bugs you don’t want in your house. To get them, try sticky traps. You can also use cedar oil and/or pieces of cedar in key spots to keep them away since they don’t like cedar and will avoid it.

Since silverfish like paper and glue, if you have a lot of cardboard boxes around, or you store old newspapers/mail, just know that silverfish love those things. They’ll even enjoy hanging around clothing and dry foods, so here’s the deal: put stuff away in plastic containers with tightly sealed lids. The more dry you keep your home or basement, the better off you’ll be. Remember, silverfish like damp places.

If you notice any cracks in your home’s exterior walls, seal them up so silverfish and other bugs can’t easily enter your home. Remove piles of damp debris located near exterior walls, too, so as not to attract bugs.

Should you have an infestation of silverfish or other creepy bugs, don’t hesitate to call Amherst Exterminators at 716-908-2475.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs From Infiltrating Your Sheets

Bed bugs are bad– you don’t want them. Just the thought of them should make you itch and scowl. The sooner you detect ‘em, the cheaper it will be to get rid of them.

Where are you likely to encounter bed bugs? Well, a lot of people come into contact with them in hotel rooms…and then bring them home to their house after their trip is done.

So, with that in mind, when you stay overnight at a hotel (or someone else’s house or apartment), you should do a basic inspection of their bedding. Look at the mattress, box spring and the visible parts of the headboard and see if you notice bugs anywhere or little brown spots. If you don’t see anything, chances are you’re safe. However, if you wake up the next morning and find bites on your skin, bed bugs might have gotten you.

Bed bug bites are usually in clusters of at least three and end up in areas of your skin that are exposed while you sleep. You’re likely to find them on your arms, neck, face and/or shoulders. They tend to look like mosquito bites.

Should you experience bed bug bites, take whatever is in your suitcase and unpack it somewhere outside your home (like in the garage). Take your clothing and put it through a hot wash or dry cycle, as heat will kill the bed bugs. To disinfect your suitcase, you can use no-pest strips that are dropped into a garbage bag along with your emptied suitcase. Seal the bag, let it sit for two weeks or so, and the pesticide does its job, killing any remaining bed bugs.

Some people resort to using a steamer or vacuum on their bed to get rid of bed bugs. However, these items might not pick up all the potential bed bug eggs, so a professional should be called in to fully take care of the problem.

In the Buffalo area, Amherst Exterminators can help you get rid of bed bugs; call 716-908-2475.